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Simon’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Location: Monterey, California, USA

MapThe other ambition was to take advantage of the Bay’s impressive selection of Whale Watching excursions, so we made a (very) early start and, after booking online, arrived for the 9am jaunt.

Even though I’d taken two ‘Sea legs’ tablets, I was glad the water was calm as I tend to get nauseous on a wet pavement and, after a short reading of the on-board rules, off we went out into the Bay.

There’s always a risk with these sorts of adventures as there’s no promise whatsoever that you’ll see so much as a fin. We’d had a disappointing trip out into the Moray Firth a few year back, where we saw just two porpoises and I felt sick for the entire duration of the trip. Fortunately (you knew a happy ending was in sight!) we hadn’t been out 30 minutes when the first of a succession of Humpback whales broke the surface. They tend to arch in and out of the water before fluking – the pop-shot where just their tail breaks the surface in preparation for a deep dive, and we saw this on several occasions.

As we went further out we came across an entire pod of Orca (killer whales, in other words) snuffing out an unfortunate sea lion. The naturalist who was our on-board guide said that we were very lucky to see such behavior as the adults were teaching a calf how to hunt and feed. They were so close to the boat you could smell their breath as it was expelled through the blowholes: nature’s a wonderful thing!

Puke-wise, I felt fine throughout, but we were stood next to an older woman who was soon making those classic gulping noises. We packed her off to the back of the boat and the next time we saw her, she was shouting for Hughie over the side. Nice.

The trip lasted over four hours and we saw further numbers of Humpback plus the same pod of Orcas swimming off to find their next unsuspecting victim.

Awesome and the best $90 we’ve ever spent!